US dealer further in Microsoft soup
It's a messy business
Microsoft has filed further charges against a US dealer who, it alleges, was abusing its Easy Fulfillment Program. The software vendor has filed a further contempt charge against Shawn LePorte, to add to the charges of conspiracy, fraud, theft unfair competition and trademark infringements which it has already filed against the dealer. Microsoft alleges in the suit that LePorte created several fictitious dealerships - including Premier Computers and CSL Computers - as a vehicle to sell Microsoft Open Licence Program licenses to other fictitious end-users that seemed to meet the MOLP criterion. Microsoft alleges that the scam worked by them reselling the licenses to end-users that would not qualify for the MOLP scheme. The latest motion against LePorte, asking for him to be found in contempt of court, relates to a court order stating that he must turn over rare coins that Microsoft claims were purchased with proceeds from the scam. The software that Microsoft claim LePorte was reselling includes Microsoft Office 97, Office 97 Professional Edition, Office 97 and Windows 95. The tightening of the LePorte case comes just days after Microsoft investigators in Europe seized an estimated $60 million of pirated OEM software in what it claimed was the largest anti-piracy operation it had mounted outside of the US. Microsoft's PR company in the UK could not be contacted for comment as they were "off site" for several days.